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Economic comparison between air-cooled and water-cooled chillers in cold storage

  • Release time: 2023-12-18

With the increase of cold storage suppliers, cold storage purchasers have the advantage of choosing different suppliers for technical exchange and price comparison. But more buyers are relatively more focused on price, and for them, price is more important than anything else. As a result, they lost their eyes and couldn't see clearly the true situation of the chaotic cold storage market. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for, and the engineering cost is relatively or even very low, there must be serious problems involved. There is no such thing as good quality and low price. At this point, what we are talking about is engineering, which is incomparable to the daily necessities we need. There are many problems in the cold storage market, such as poor refrigeration efficiency and cold storage collapse. The poor refrigeration effect is related to whether to choose high-quality refrigeration units, and the collapse of cold storage is closely related to high-quality technology. Now, upon closer analysis, it can be seen that building a high-quality cold storage project is not related to price, but rather to refrigeration units and advanced technology.

I hope everyone can carefully consider whether what I said has some validity.

(1) The initial investment of air-cooled units is lower than that of water-cooled units, but the unit cooling power consumption is slightly higher than that of water-cooled units. However, the annual comprehensive cost of air-cooled units is basically the same or slightly lower than that of water-cooled units.

(2) From an operational perspective, only when the annual operating time of the unit is very long, can the water-cooled unit gradually recover the higher investment in the future.

(3) The amount of cooling water replenishment for a water-cooled unit is an important factor affecting its cost. Strengthening maintenance management and reducing water consumption are important aspects of reducing the cost of water-cooled units.

1、 Summary

The air-cooled refrigeration unit is suitable for medium and small systems with limited water resources in the region; It is more advantageous to use air-cooled refrigeration units for refrigeration systems with longer annual operating hours; The annual comprehensive cost of air-cooled refrigeration units is lower than that of water-cooled systems. However, if the water-cooled system is managed properly and the replenishment amount is controlled below 3%, it will be difficult to recover the initial investment added by air-cooled refrigeration units compared to water-cooled ones.

2、 Technical and Economic Comparison of Two Units

1. Considering the large number of air-cooled condensers in large refrigeration units, it is usually difficult to arrange them. On the other hand, small water-cooled refrigeration units are also not conducive to use. Therefore, a comparison is made between moderately easy air-cooled units and water-cooled refrigeration units with the same cooling capacity.

2. Initial investment of the unit

a. The initial investment of the unit includes equipment cost, installation cost, and electricity capacity increase cost;

Compare a certain model of water-cooled refrigeration unit with an air-cooled refrigeration unit with the same host and evaporator.

The annual operating time of the compressor ranges from 1000 hours to 3000 hours, and the corresponding annual operating time of the cooling tower and water pump ranges from 1400 hours to 4200 hours.

b. Operating costs of air-cooled refrigeration units

Annual power consumption cost of air-cooled refrigeration unit=(compressor power consumption+fan power consumption) × Operating time/year × Electricity price

c. The operating cost of water-cooled refrigeration units

d. Annual power consumption cost of water-cooled refrigeration unit=(compressor power consumption+cooling tower fan power consumption+cooling water pump power consumption) × Operating time/year × Electricity price

e. Annual water cost of water-cooled refrigeration unit=(total circulating water) × Number of water changes+amount of water replenishment × Total circulating water volume × Operating time/year)

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